Shifting Focus: Aptitudes instead of Attitudes

We often talk about doing what we love, finding our passion, so that we can be happy at work and in life. What if we took into account our natural abilities or aptitudes when we made career decisions or before choosing a major in college. Would you be happier at work or could you get ahead faster if you worked in a field that capitalizes on your natural talents?


Aptitudes are natural talents, special abilities for doing, or learning to do, certain kinds of things easily and quickly. Studies have shown that people are more productive, engaged and successful when their work life takes advantage of their strengths.

When I was in high school my parents took me for Natural Aptitude Testing to help me think about what I might want to major in while in college and to find out what fields I might naturally excel in when deciding on a career.

This is a great video about Aptitude Tests and How they can help you match your abilities with a career.

Aptitude Test May Match Natural Ability With Passionate Career Field

Career aptitude tests (CATs) are helpful in measuring a person’s natural skills and abilities. They can also help point out someone’s strengths and weaknesses,” says Elizabeth Lintelman, career services manager at Rasmussen College. “Good CATs can help users identify specific industries — not necessarily specific jobs — that would be a good fit for their interests. Well-written CATs can also provide test-takers with a deeper understanding of themselves and their talents. This allows test-takers to highlight those abilities and connect the dots to different job opportunities.”

Of course, there are those that think just the opposite. Serial Entrepreneur, James Caan, maintains that “It’s your ATTITUDE not your APTITUDE that determines your ALTITUDE.” According to Caan, it is important for people to have skills, training and experience but I have always been a huge believer in putting attitude above aptitude. You can come fully equipped for a role but without real enthusiasm the best skill-set will count for very little. You can train somebody and give them the tools but you can’t give them the right attitude.

What do you think? Will knowing more about your natural abilities help you make better career decisions? Join the conversation on Wednesday as #TChat welcomes Maggie Mistal and Laura Rolands to discuss how to find and claim your core career “genius.”